Thursday, October 6, 2011

Whole Grains Reduce Mineral Absorption

If you can find the time, read the whole article at
It is very informative. The condensed version is below, as shortened by Christy. After the article, I have support materials to help you find the products that he mentions is acceptable as well as the procedures to follow to make your foods more acceptable.

Living With Phytic Acid,
Article Published IN Wise Traditions 2010 by Ramiel Nagel (Condensed by Christy)

Phytic acid is present in beans, seeds, nuts, grains-especially in the bran or outer hull; phytates are also found in tubers, and trace amounts occur in certain fruits and vegetables like berries and green beans. It represents a serious problem in our diets because we eat a lot of high-phytate foods like commercial whole wheat bread and all-bran breakfast cereals. But raw is definitely not Nature's way for grains, nuts, seeds and beans. . . and even some tubers; nor are quick cooking or rapid heat processes like extrusion.

Phytic acid not only grabs on to or chelates important minerals, but also
inhibits enzymes that we need to digest our food. It contains the mineral
phosphorus tightly bound in a snowflake-like molecule. In humans and animals
with one stomach, the phosphorus is not readily bioavailable. In addition to
blocking phosphorus availability, the "arms" of the phytic acid molecule
readily bind with other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc,
making them unavailable as well. In this form, the compound is referred to
as phytate.

Up to 80 percent of the phosphorus-a vital mineral for bones and
health-present in grains is locked into an unusable form as phytate. When a
diet including more than small amounts of phytate is consumed, the body will
bind calcium to phytic acid and form insoluble phytate complexes. The net
result is you lose calcium, and don't absorb phosphorus. Further, research
suggests that we will absorb approximately 20 percent more zinc and 60
percent magnesium from our food when phytate is absent.

Raw unfermented cocoa beans and normal cocoa powder are extremely high in
phytates. Processed chocolates may also contain phytates. Coffee beans also
contain phytic acid.

High-phytate diets result in mineral deficiencies. In populations where
cereal grains provide a major source of calories, rickets and osteoporosis
are common.

The zinc- and iron-blocking effects of phytic acid can be just as serious as
the calcium-blocking effects. For example, one study showed that a wheat
roll containing 2 mg phytic acid inhibited zinc absorption by 18 percent; 25
mg phytic acid in the roll inhibited zinc absorption by 64 percent; and 250
mg inhibited zinc absorption by 82 percent. Nuts have a marked inhibitory
action on the absorption of iron due to their phytic acid content. For
those suffering mineral deficiencies, total estimated phytate content of
150-400 mg would be advised. For children under age six, pregnant women or
those with serious illnesses, it is best to consume a diet as low in phytic
acid as possible. The average phytate intake in the U.S. and the U.K.
ranges between 631 and 746 mg per day. (Go back and read this paragraph: 2
mg - a very small amount - can inhibit mineral absorption - this is why one
cupcake can wreak such havoc. CW)

Over the long term, when the diet lacks minerals or contains high levels of
phytates or both, the metabolism goes down, and the body goes into
mineral-starvation mode. The body then sets itself up to use as little of
these minerals as possible. Adults may get by for decades on a high-phytate
diet, but growing children run into severe problems. In a phytate-rich diet,
their bodies will suffer from the lack of calcium and phosphorus with poor
bone growth, short stature, rickets, narrow jaws and tooth decay; and for
the lack of zinc and iron with anemia and mental retardation.

Absorbable calcium from bone broths and raw dairy products, and vitamin D
from certain animal fats, can reduce the adverse effects of phytic acid.

Other studies show that adding ascorbic acid can significantly counteract
inhibition of iron assimilation by phytic acid. Adding ascorbic acid
significantly counteracted phytate inhibition from phytic acid in wheat. One
study showed that anti-iron phytate levels in rice were disabled by vitamin
C in collard greens.

Research published in 2000 indicates that both vitamin A and beta-carotene
form a complex with iron, keeping it soluble and preventing the inhibitory
effect of phytates on iron absorption.

Phytase is the enzyme that neutralizes phytic acid and liberates the

Mice produce thirty times more phytase than humans, so they can be quite
happy eating a raw whole grain. Data from experiments on phytic acid using
mice and other rodents cannot be applied to humans.

In general, humans do not produce enough phytase to safely consume large
quantities of high-phytate foods on a regular basis. However, probiotic
lactobacilli, and other species of the endogenous digestive microflora can
produce phytase. Thus, humans who have good intestinal flora will have an
easier time with foods containing phytic acid.

Soaking grains and flour in an acid medium at very warm temperatures, as in the sourdough process, also activates phytase and reduces or even eliminates phytic acid. Not all grains contain enough phytase to eliminate the phytate, even when properly prepared.

Phytase is destroyed by steam heat at about 176 degrees Fahrenheit in ten minutes or less. Extruded cereals made of bran and whole grains are a recipe for digestive problems and mineral deficiencies!

White rice and white bread are low-phytate foods because their bran and germ have been removed; of course, they are also devitalized and empty of vitamins and minerals. But the low phytate content of refined carbohydrate foods may explain why someone whose family eats white flour or white rice food products may seem to be relatively healthy and immune to tooth cavities while those eating whole wheat bread and brown rice could suffer from cavities, bone loss and other health problems.

Soaking and germinating grains is a good idea, but it does not eliminate phytic acid completely. Significant amounts of phytic acid will remain in most sprouted grain products. Sprouting releases vitamins and makes grains and beans and seeds more digestible. However it is a pre-fermentation step, not a complete process for neutralizing phytic acid. Consuming grains regularly that are only sprouted will lead to excess intake of phytic acid.

Roasting wheat, barley or green gram reduces phytic acid by about 40 percent but phytase will be destroyed by the roasting process.

In general, nuts contain levels of phytic acid equal to or higher than those of grains. Therefore those consuming peanut butter, nut butters or nut flours, will take in phytate levels similar to those in unsoaked grains. (Jett is low in zinc and iron and I mix his supplements in nut butter for him every day!- Andi) Nut consumption becomes problematic in situations where people on the GAPS diet and similar regimes are consuming lots of almonds and other nuts as a replacement for bread, potatoes and rice. It is best to avoid nut butters unless they have been made with soaked nuts-these are now available commercially. (See below.) Likewise, it is best not to use nut flours-and also coconut flour-for cooking unless they have been soured by the soaking process.

Nut butters from Soaked Nuts
Of course you can make the nut butters yourself. See how here: How to Make Homemade Almond Butter

Or you can buy these products:

Wilderness Family Naturals
A collection of nuts and butters that feature soaked nuts

Better Than Roasted
Almond, cashew, hazelnut here:
If you find other products, let me know!

Soaking Beans
Soaking beans before cooking gets rid of the phytates. Watch this video to show you how to soak them and then freeze them so you can cook them quickly another day:

Grains Cause "Leaky Gut"

By Dr. Mercola
Leaky gut is a condition that occurs due to the development of gaps between the cells (enterocytes) that make up the membrane lining your intestinal wall.
These tiny gaps allow substances such as undigested food, bacteria and metabolic wastes,that should be confined to your digestive tract, to escape into your bloodstream -- hence the term leaky gut syndrome.
Once the integrity of your intestinal lining is compromised, and there is a flow of toxic substances "leaking out" into your bloodstream, your body experiences significant increases in inflammation.
Also, your immune system may become confused and begin to attack your own body as if it were an enemy (autoimmunity).  
Most often, leaky gut syndrome is associated with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, or celiac disease, but even healthy people can have varying degrees of intestinal permeability leading to a wide variety of health symptoms -- and this can be influenced heavily by the foods you choose to eat.

Grains Contain Anti-Nutrients

In the United States, we're told that grains (especially whole grains) are an important part of a balanced diet, necessary for obtaining our daily requirement of healthy nutrients and fiber.
However, according to a growing number of experts, including Dr. Loren Cordain, a professor at Colorado State University and an expert on Paleolithic lifestyles, humans are NOT designed to eat grains, and doing so may actually be damaging to your gut....

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